Joint press statement by Alliance for the Great Lakes, Freshwater Future, Healing Our Waters–Great Lakes Coalition, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Ohio Environmental Council, Prairie Rivers Network, Save the River–Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper, Sierra Club-Great Lakes, and Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Rep. Candice Miller today introduced the Defending Our Great Lakes Act, an important step forward in efforts to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

We applaud the efforts by Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Miller (R-Mich.) to build regional consensus on this issue. The legislation calls for swift action by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to implement much-needed, short-term invasive species risk-reduction measures. As the bill recommends, implementation of measures at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam site on the Des Plaines River in Illinois can help to reduce the risk of invasive species, particularly Asian carp, moving from the Mississippi River Basin into the Great Lakes.

The bill also calls for additional action in the Chicago Area Waterway System and throughout the Great Lakes Basin to secure a long-term permanent solution to stop Asian carp and other invasive species from moving between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River. We believe these two waterways deserve the strongest possible protections from invasive species, and look forward to working with members of Congress to establish those protections as soon as possible.

The urgency of the Asian carp threat continues to grow and we urge support from the Great Lakes congressional delegation for Stabenow’s and Miller’s legislation. Asian carp are knocking on the door of the Great Lakes, as verified by eDNA sampling results released in December by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The sampling data has shown consistent presence of bighead or silver carp DNA throughout the Chicago Area Waterway System. Most alarming is detection of carp DNA very near the lock in downtown Chicago — less than one city block from Lake Michigan.

The bill’s original cosponsors include Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Charles Schumer (D-New York), and Reps. Dan Benishek (R-Mich.), Mike Bishop (R-Mich.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), David Joyce (R-Ohio), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Mike Kelly (R-Penn.), Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), Robert E. Latta (R-Ohio), Sandy Levin (D-Mich.), John Moolenaar (R-Mich.), Rick Nolan (D-Minn.), Louise Slaughter (D-New York), Dave Trott (R-Mich.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Tim Walberg (R-Mich).

For more information contact:

Jennifer Caddick, Alliance for the Great Lakes – (312) 445-9760, jcaddick@greatlakes.org
Marc Smith, National Wildlife Federation – (734) 255-5413, msmith@nwf.org
Jordan Lubetkin, Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition – (734) 904-1589, lubetkin@nwf.org
Josh Mogerman, Natural Resources Defense Council – (312) 651 – 7909, jmogerman@NRDC.org
Kristy Meyer, Ohio Environmental Council – (614) 638-8948, KMeyer@theoec.org
Jennifer McKay, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council – (231) 347.1181, jenniferm@watershedcouncil.org
Cheryl Nenn, Milwaukee Riverkeeper – (414) 287-0207 x2, cheryl_nenn@milwaukeeriverkeeper.org
Cheryl Kallio, Freshwater Future – (231) 571-5001, cheryl@freshwaterfuture.org
Robert Hirschfeld, Prairie Rivers Network – (217) 344-2371 x205, rhirschfeld@prairierivers.org
Lee Willbanks, Save The River – Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper – (315) 686-2010, lee@savetheriver.org
Melissa Damaschke, Sierra Club – Great Lakes – (313) 965-0055, melissa.damaschke@sierraclub.org

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